I always like the idea of sinking my teeth into a good book – one that really demands that I pay attention to savor every beautiful detail. “Elizabeth I” turned out to be just such a book, though it started out a bit slow. However, it quickly picked up, and I found the story inside to be as lovely as the outside cover. My education on that time period has been sparse, so I admit to the inability to know whether or not Margaret George is entirely accurate, though all my research seems to show that she does HER research, too. This book, though it is a tome, does not attempt to portray the Queen’s entire life. It begins in 1588, with Spain attempting the first of many tries to invade England. The dramatic struggle between the Protestant and Catholic faiths is discussed, as is the long love/hate relationship between the Queen and the Earl of Essex, a vain, incompetent soldier who fails spectacularly in all his military endeavors. He actually ends up being put to death for planning and trying to enact a rebellion against the Queen, even after he had been a favorite of hers. It is this part where the Queen’s humanity shines through. According to George, the Queen gave the Earl every possible chance to succeed and agonized over her decision about what to do after he became a rebel against the throne. Margaret George portrays the Queen as a noble and just woman, one who truly believed she was divinely chosen to rule England.
Review of “Elizabeth I” by Margaret George